Is there anything quite as sad as a shopping mall going down the gurgler? You know, lots of storefronts empty, and papered over.
Sadly, that’s how it is at the Riverwalk in New Orleans. And quite frankly, that’s not at all surprising.
I can remember my first visit here, maybe in 1994, and there were actually some shops there – places that people might want to visit even. I seem to recall perhaps a Disney Store, and a Victoria’s Secret.
But the problem is that, if you live somewhere in the US that’s semi populated – has more than two gas stations and a population greater than three or four families – then you already have all of these stores somewhere close by.
Shopping at the replacement for your local mall is not exactly the reason why people come to visit New Orleans, and as if to add insult to injury, when you shop in places like this, you’re also slugged with a mall-rent tax.
No, it’s not a real tax, but their rents are not cheap in places like this, and those costs need to be passed on to the consumer – that’s us – and as a result, the $10 t-shirt that you want to buy actually carries a price tag of $22.
And thus the stores close down, leaving great big vacant gaps in the place.
Tear the place down, and turn it into parklands. With a couple of performance spaces. Make it something worthwhile, rather than the sad, sorry excuse for a commercial piece of crap that’s currently there.